Migration Impact Assessment

Migration Impact Assessment

New Horizons

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Peter Nijkamp, Jacques Poot and Mediha Sahin

During the last few decades the world has experienced an unprecedented level of cross-border migration. While this has generated significant socio-economic gains for host countries, as well as sometimes for the countries of origin, the costs and benefits involved are unevenly distributed. Consequently, growing global population mobility is a hotly debated topic, both in the political arena and by the general public. Amidst a plethora of facts, opinions and emotions, the assessment of migration impacts must be grounded in a solid scientific evidence base. This analytical book outlines and applies a range of the scientific methods that are currently available in migration impact assessment (MIA). The book provides various North American and European case studies that quantify socio-economic consequences of migration for host societies and for immigrants themselves.

Chapter 6: Cultural avoidance and internal migration in the USA: do the source countries matter?

Alessandra Faggian, Mark D. Partridge and Dan S. Rickman

Subjects: development studies, migration, economics and finance, regional economics, valuation, politics and public policy, migration, public policy, social policy and sociology, migration, urban and regional studies, migration, regional economics


Immigration – and its effects on the host countries – is one of the most hotly debated and everlasting topics in advanced societies. A primary concern of immigration studies is to evaluate how immigration affects the native population and how natives respond to immigrant flows. Recent evidence from the USA (Filer, 1992; Frey, 1995a), Canada (Ley and Tutchener, 2001) and Australia (Sheehan, 1998) shows that large in-flows of migrants in gateway cities are associated with large out-flows of natives but the causes of this response are not entirely clear. Some authors argue that the causes are mainly of an economic nature relating to the labour market. If immigrants and natives are perfect substitutes in the labour market, then the increase in the labour supply, caused by the immigrants’ in-flow, would lead to lower wages, which, in turn, would push natives to out-migrate. Although immigration in the USA has been relatively concentrated in a few states, the displacement of natives, with the related increase in internal migration flows, allows the effects of immigration to spread across the country in a ‘bathtub’ model fashion (Borjas, 2003, 2005; Ali et al., forthcoming). The debate on exactly how ‘substitutable’ immigrants are to natives, however, is still open.

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